Reflecting on 21 Years as a Coffee News Publisher
Coffee News in the community!
Wilma Scott recently celebrated 21 years as a Coffee News publisher in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. A true example of how Coffee News in the community works.
It’s been a long run for 75-year-old Scott, who is in the process of selling her publication. “I publish one issue that I’m now selling, due to health issues. I have mixed feelings about that. It’s kind of like giving up my baby, so I’m looking for the right buyer to take it over,” she said. When Scott started with the Cornwall Coffee News franchise in 1995, she was one of only six people publishing Coffee News in Canada, where Coffee News originated. “There was a woman publishing in Ottawa and I asked her to bring the paper here. She started it, with me running it, but she didn’t do it for long, so I bought it. I wanted to keep it going. I’ve watched it grow over the years,” Scott reflected.
Scott’s first advertiser, a mechanic, is still with her. “About half of my advertisers have been with me for a very long time. Once they try it out and discover that it works, they stay with it. Many say that Coffee News is the only thing that works for them,” she said. Scott adds, “Businesses like the exclusivity of advertising in Coffee News. I have businesses calling all the time asking if a spot is open for their type of business so that they can have it. When a spot does open up, they grab it.”
Reflecting on her years in the business, Scott notes how things have changed. “I remember the old days when we had to lay out the ads and content on a piece of paper and take it to the printer. That was before we had computers capable of doing it,” she said.
Scott used to deliver all of the papers by herself, but that changed a few years ago when she fell down a set of stairs and broke her back. “I now have a very nice older man who delivers them. He takes his time to stop and talk to people,” she said. Another example of how Coffee News works in the community.
“After I broke my back, I was still able to put my Coffee News publication together, working on a laptop from my hospital bed,” recalled Scott. “I’ve never missed an issue.” When asked what she will miss most about being in the Coffee News business Scott replied, ”I will miss getting the paper out every week and being known as the Coffee News lady. I will miss sitting in a restaurant and watching people pick it up and enjoy it.”
Some of her best memories of her Coffee News experience include the support she has received from Coffee News headquarters. “They have always been there for me to offer advice and support. One time I even got to go on a Caribbean cruise with other publishers. I took my girlfriend with me. It was a memory I won’t ever forget,” Scott said.
Scott says her plans for life after Coffee News include taking care of herself, getting healthy, and traveling. “I lost my husband in 2009, and happily I have a new friend in my life, and we would like to travel, maybe take a river cruise in Europe,” she said. Scott adds, “It’s sad to sell my Coffee News franchise, but I’m selling it knowing that I contributed something to people’s enjoyment and to small business growth, and that feels good. I am really going to miss being ‘the Coffee News gal’.”
Scott Offers This Advice to be Successful in Coffee News:
How to brand Coffee News in the community:
Do Run Contests
I would hide a Coffee News ‘gal’ somewhere in the paper and would get 100 to 150 entries per week from people who would find her and enter to win a drawing for restaurant gift certificates.
Reach Out for Help
The people at the Coffee News headquarters have been so helpful to me over the years and offered so much support. Take advantage of that resource.
Don’t Get Discouraged
It can take time to build the business. People have to know it and recognize it. There will still be slow times, especially when doing business in a seasonal area, but don’t get discouraged, just keep going.